SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann
By Gabriela Weber
Cultural background / radio play
Editor: Karin Beindorff
Dossier: The Abduction Legend or how Eichmann came to
DLF / SWR 2011
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Show: Friday, 4th March 2011, 19.15 - 20.00
Atmo: Radio announcement in English and German. Discussion
April 1961. In Jerusalem, the trial of SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf
Eichmann, the Organizer of the deportations to Nazi death
camps, began. This dominated the headlines of the world's public
Almost a year before, on 11 May 1960, the Israeli Foreign
Intelligence Service had kidnapped Eichmann from his hideout in
Buenos Aires. Three of these Mossad agents, among them their
chief, Isser Harel, wrote books on their "heroic deeds". Today, the
world's press repeats their version. But it has long been known
that Eichmann's hideout had already been leaked at the
beginning of the 50s. What lies behind the legends about this
abduction and trial? Do they really only have to do with the crimes
of National Socialism? Was not perhaps Hans Globke, Chancellor
Adenauer's right-hand man and commentator of the Nuremberg
Race Laws, involved? What were the relationships at the time of
the Eichmann trial between Chancellor Adenauer and Israeli
Prime Minister Ben Gurion? What role did the most important
intelligence services of the Cold War, the CIA and the KGB, play
in this? Why many documents are in this case still kept secret?
And might there perhaps even be a military link?
For years I have been driven to seek answers to these questions
in both interviews and archives. Finally, after taking the
Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND)—the German Intelligence
Agency, to court, they finally had to grant me some insight, albeit
partial, into all of this.
The Abduction Legend or how Eichmann came to Jerusalem?
A feature by Gaby Weber
Adolf Eichmann grew up in Linz. By June 1933, he worked for the
Vacuum Oil Company, which belonged to the Rockefeller-empire.
Then he moved to Nazi Germany and became "an expert on
Jewish affairs" with the Sicherheitsdienst (SD), the Security
Service of the SS. In 1938 he headed the "Central Office for
Jewish Emigration" in Vienna. And in January 1942, he wrote the
minutes for the "Wannsee Conference", on which the "Final
Solution" of the Jewish question was decided. Eichmann then
took over its administrative implementation. After 1945, he went
into hiding until 1950, when he was able to travel on the so-called
"rat line" to Argentina, with the help of the Vatican.
Until this moment, the story is undisputed. What happened next
has received hardly any attention. Historians have so far scarcely
touched the matter of these Nazi exiles and the laundering of the
so-called 'Nazi gold'. Thousands of Nazis stayed on in Argentina,
up to a total of 50,000 has been mentioned. However, they only
planned to stay until 1965 since the statute of limitations was, at
that time, twenty years. They were not only tolerated in South
America, but even courted.
Adolf Eichmann began by working on the tunnel under the Paraná
River, a major project with the German company Hochtief,
subsequently on a power plant with Siemens, and from 1959 he
was with Mercedes Benz.
The Argentine President Juan Domingo Perón was hoping on
receiving technological expertise from these German Refugees.
And the branches of the German companies involved - most
notably Daimler-Benz - were able to live high on the hog on the
Rio de la Plata with the hidden capital they had siphoned away
during the Second World War.
The Cold War was also in full swing on the South American
continent. The Secret services of both East and West were
watching the operations of the "brown exiles" very closely.
But no one, apparently, wanted to bring these people to justice.
The German Federal Intelligence Agency (BND) had former Nazi
Army officers working at all levels. And the Western services, and
even the KGB, were also happy to use the old comrades for their
own spy networks.
I was able to discover some notes on this nest of Nazi spies in the
files of the BND. German foreign intelligence possessed in
Argentina, and I quote, "many good connections," informants,
undercover agents, and sources. US-Services also had their
informants, one of whom was the war criminal Willem Sassen.
The CIA had known about the whereabouts of Adolf Eichmann
since 1954. However they had no interest in arresting him. At
least, not in 1954. Four years later - on 19 March 1958 - the BND
once again informed the CIA about his location and aliases.
Eichmann had now fallen into the crosshairs. Exactly when his
contacts with Soviet Intelligence began is not clear from BND
files. It was probably when his brown associates made contact
with the Ministry for State Security of the GDR in the late 1950's.
Beginning in 1956, Adolf Eichmann reluctantly agreed to
interviews for the purpose of writing down his memoirs. The rights
to these interviews, which dragged on for two years, were
reserved for Eberhard Fritsch and Willem Sassen. In Argentina,
Fritsch was editor of the Nazi paper "Der Weg" (The Way). The
German prosecutor in Lüneburg started a penal investigation
against Fritsch for "subversion". The German Internal Intelligence
Service (Verfassungsschutz) also began watching Fritsch during
his visits to Germany. Quoting from BND files:
"Fritsch is offering the Eichmann material to German offices for
DM 80,000 to DM 100,000. He has shown a reliable agent photo
copies of some sample sheets."
A leading figure of the Nazi exile was Hans-Ulrich Rudel, a highly
decorated aviator and Stuka pilot of the Second World War, and
founder of the "Freikorps" (Free Corps) in Germany, which was
equally opposed to Communism and to the integration of the
young Bonn republic into NATO. In 1953, the Freikorps was
outlawed following pressure from U.S. authorities. According to
the BND, Rudel had established contacts with East Berlin:
"On his last visit to Germany, Sassen made contact with Rudel,
and there are persistent reports that his political activity is under
the influence of Pankow. It has been confirmed that Sassen was
in Leipzig and Dresden".
The Dutch SS officer Willem Sassen had received the death
penalty in Belgium, and had been condemned to twenty years in
his home country. However, this latter verdict is mysteriously
missing from the files of the National Archives in Amsterdam.
"... we have no idea how this could happen "...
... the archivist told me, at my request.
Sassen was jailed at war's end but broke out twice. He ended up
in Buenos Aires with false papers, and wrote for LIFE and for
DER STERN. He also filed regular reports at the U.S. Embassy.
"Sassen is thought to be playing both sides of the fence. He is
suspected of working both for "Gehlen" and for the Americans. Up
to this time he has no official passport. He claims that he is
working for a German organization about which he could say
nothing. It is led by a prominent German General whose name
begins with G. He has recently (1959) been in East Germany. In
contrast to an earlier period Sassen has ample funds."
Although the Netherlands only took his name off the wanted list
1969, Sassen received a West German passport in January 1959.
Why? - the Foreign Office later wanted to clarify this. But the
BND would not give out this information, only replying laconically:
"We have no knowledge here on the question of the nationality of
The German Internal Intelligence Service did indicate that Sassen
was a member of the Waffen-SS. But:
"He was not a member of any other national-socialist
organizations, according to a DC Extract."
DC here means "Document Center", then still under U.S.
administration in West Berlin. How this repeatedly condemned
war criminal came to have a pleasant file [at the DC] is as strange
as the issue of his West German citizenship.
An undercover agent of the BND reported on the discussions
between Sassen and Eichmann.
"As of the beginning of 56 Eichmann had reluctantly been
persuaded to write down his memoirs. This material had an initial
size of 3000 pages. However, on revision it ended up as 800 DINA-
4 pages. This was the version that was being offered."
The entire 3,000 pages are probably in the archives of the secret
services. There are fragments of these in the Federal Archives in
Koblenz, after being censored and passed through several hands.
They almost completely exclude the post-1945 period. The name
of the Commentator of the Nuremberg Race Laws, Adenauer's
Secretary of State Globke, is barely mentioned. In the BND files
on the other hand, there are numerous indications that, in the
original version, Eichmann had extensively expounded on Hans
Globke's participation in the extermination of the Jews.
"Statements about an alleged correspondence between the
Governor General (Poland) Hans Frank and Globke about the
"too soft and indecisive attitude" of Eichmann. As part of the final
solution the Nuremberg Laws should serve as the basis. The
main sections of the material definitely deal with Globke and with
many other leading figures in the Federal Republic."
Three strands run through the matter of Eichmann, his abduction
and trial. Plot number one concerns Adenauer's Secretary of
State Hans Globke, against whom the Frankfurt Prosecutor
General Fritz Bauer would weigh in on, and for whom Eichmann
was a threat. Bauer was a Jew, a Social Democrat and
Antifascist. In the anti-Communist climate of the Cold War such
people were looked upon with suspicion. The vast majority were
strictly against any elucidation of German crimes. Plot number
two concerns the Israeli interest in their own secret, nuclear
program. And Plot number three deals with the Allied summit of
16 May 1960 in Paris, where the future of Berlin and the division
of Germany would be discussed. High-ranking ex-Nazis tried to
re-enter the fray through their own contacts with the intelligence
agencies on both sides of the Cold War.
As Ministerial Advisor to the Reich Interior Ministry, Hans Globke
had arranged that his 'Commentary on the Racial Laws' would
also be "applied" against the Jews of the countries under
occupation by the Wehrmacht. These people were deported to
the death camps, and their property confiscated.
On 11 February 1959 the "Neue Rhein Zeitung" reported that
Globke played a role in the "Merten Affair." In April 57, the Berlin
lawyer Max Merten, once Military Council Agent
(Militärverwalltungsrat) in Thessaloniki, was arrested in Athens
and indicted there for war crimes.
In 1959 the military process in Athens was inaugurated. Merten
explained that in February 1943 he had warned Jews he had
known, about their imminent deportation. He had elaborated a
rescue plan with the help of the Representative of the
International Red Cross, René Burkhardt. Ten thousand Jewish
women should have been transported to Palestine on ships of the
Red Cross that were at anchor in the port bringing food. At
Burkhardt's request he had sent a telegram to Geneva. The
German Embassy thereupon expelled the Red Cross man from
the country. However he could not reconcile himself with the
failure of the rescue plan, and travelled to see Eichmann in Berlin.
"Eichmann thought that the plan for the emigration to Palestine
required the agreement of Globke, and told this idea of the Red
Cross to Globke by telephone. He received a sharp rebuttal from
him, as I heard. Upon completion of the call Eichmann (ran) back
and forth in his modest office like an injured bull, complaining
bitterly about "stupid bureaucratic idiots," as he put it."-
Merten presented evidence: the telegram to the Red Cross in
Geneva, and Burkhardt also confirmed the rescue plan to the
Court. Merten had indeed helped him in this.
But in spite of all exoneration — Merten was sentenced as a war
criminal to 25 years imprisonment. This example could have set a
precedent, and German Diplomacy pulled out all stops to prevent
this. A few months after this judgement, Merten was transferred to
Germany. How this was "manipulated" was outlined by Gustav
von Schmoller in this manner during his examination of witnesses:
"When Prime Minister (Constantinos) Karamanlis came on a state
visit to Bonn, during which the economic assistance of the
Federal Republic for the Industrialization of Greece was to be
discussed, Chancellor Adenauer informed him that the matter (of
Merten) had him very worried. Karamanlis promised him every
effort would be made to clean the matter up. And on the return
flight to Athens he decided, with no further ado, to have Merten
transferred back to Germany."
The Adenauer government paid. First, a loan assistance of 200
million marks, then follow-up financing of 100 million and
"technical assistance" of fifteen million.
When Merten and Attorney General Fritz Bauer first met, is not
clear from what is contained in the prosecutor 's files. It is thought
to be "spring 1960". Bauer had been investigating State Secretary
Globke, Adenauer's right hand man, for some time. Merten's
arrival was just what he needed. For Bauer was aware that
Globke's offences were about to lapse (for Statute of Limitations
Mertens statement alone would hardly be sufficient for an
indictment against Globke. Bauer needed an additional witness,
and that could be Eichmann. The Attorney General had known of
Eichmann's residence in Argentina since 1957. He had tried
several times, in vain, to get the Israeli authorities to intervene.
And when Eichmann appeared in Israel as a prisoner on the 23rd
of May, 1960, Bauer at last thought he had his star witness
The main goal on the political agenda of the Israeli government at
that time was: an atomic bomb. The U.S. did not wish to help
since their Laws prohibited the manufacture of nuclear weapons
for other states.
Ben Gurion thus first asked the French for help. And they offered
a commitment for the construction of the Dimona reactor in the
Negev desert. But U.S. President Eisenhower exerted pressure
on Paris, and Charles De Gaulle had to back down. Instead, he
brought the West Germans into play.
Would Bonn, after all that Germany had done to the European
Jews, be able to reject the wishes of Jerusalem?
In December 1959, a high-level delegation of German Nuclear
scientists, including Otto Hahn, President of the Max Planck
Society in Göttingen, and nuclear physicist Wolfgang Gentner,
travelled to the Israeli Weizmann Institute. Both had worked on
the "Wonder-weapon" (Wunderwaffe) in Hitler's "Uranium Group"
(Uranverein). And four months later, the Cabinet granted three
million marks from the budget of the
Atomic Energy Ministry, for nuclear cooperation with Israel. The
Raw material - uranium - was sourced in Argentina, who gave a
total of 116 tons of so-called "yellow cake" to Israel. Now only the
money needed to build the nuclear reactor itself had to be found.
On 14 March 1960, two months before the kidnapping of
Eichmann from Buenos Aires, Adenauer and Ben Gurion met in
New York. It was a harmonious meeting, wrote the press—a
breakthrough to almost "normal" diplomatic relations. The mass
murder of the Jews was fifteen years ago, in 1952 the
"Reconciliation Agreement" had been completed—destitute
Jewish refugees in Israel would be helped to the tune of 3.5 billion
Adenauer and Ben Gurion agreed in New York to: "Operation
Business Friend" (Aktion Geschäftsfreund).
Excerpt from a memo from Karl Carstens, Secretary of State at
the Foreign Office.
"During the meeting of the Chancellor with Mr. Ben-Gurion in New
York, was discussed the matter of German development aid to
Israel. The Chancellor agreed to Development Assistance, on a
commercial basis, in the form of a loan of DM 200 million per year
pledged over ten years. Other meetings between the Chancellor,
Minister Erhard, and State Secretary Globke were conducted, and
these concluded with an understanding whereby the first portion
of this year's allocation, namely 85 million DM, would be released
in June and July."
The payment was for a "development project in the Negev
desert." There, the Dimona Nuclear Plant was under construction,
including its hidden underground facilities. Karl Carstens noted in
"Federal (Defence) Minister (Franz-Josef) Strauss met Ben
Gurion a few days ago. Ben Gurion came to raise the subject of
the production of nuclear weapons."
The Foreign Office was opposed to the financing of the Israeli
"The Israeli government still intended to use the forthcoming
economic negotiations primarily to secure financial support for the
proposed desalination plant for atomic purposes. This project has
been the subject of ongoing negotiations with the U.S.
government for some time. (...) The (German) Federal
Government has made scientific equipment for research work in
the field of nuclear energy, available to the Nuclear Physics
Department of the Weizmann Institute in Jerusalem. (...) Any help
we provide for an atomic project should, on no account, be used
for military purposes. However, this Department (Foreign Office)
is not in a position to judge how this might be prevented."
Carstens feared a deterioration of German-Arab relations if the
deal was announced. And this was the case, even before the first
"The Ambassador of the United Arab Republic looked me up to
ask if it were true that the FRG in Israel was building a reactor. I
answered his question in the negative."
But Adenauer and his right hand man Globke won the day. They
negotiated only about details. And exactly at that time—23 May
1960, another bombshell burst: the news went around the world
that Eichmann, the
organizer of the murder of 6 million Jews, was sitting in an Israeli
prison. The BND was flabbergasted, Adenauer and Globke raged
about. Weren't they just recently sitting peacefully together with
Ben Gurion—and now THIS! What would Eichmann say in his
defence? Would he characterize himself as a transmitter of
superior orders, and constitute a huge danger for Hans Globke,
Adenauer's right hand?
The "Action Business Friend" was suspended. Banker Hermann
Josef Abs, member of the board of Deutsche Bank and of the
Supervisory Board of IG Farben in the Nazi era, raised concerns.
"The magnitude of these wishes of Israel (are) are extremely
Attorney General Bauer now opened an investigation against
Hans Globke, and the GDR began a campaign.
The BND began gathering spy reports from around the world on
the forthcoming [Eichmann] trial and its possible revelations:
"A source reports that major (Argentina) military figures, including
the Commander in Chief, regard Eichmann as a double agent in
the employ of both Germany and Israel. This explains his
excellent relationships with respected members of the Jewish
community in Argentina. Extensive information will be found in his
possession. Eichmann will no doubt put this sound knowledge of
prominent former Nazis to good account during the forthcoming
The BND sent the 'journalist' Rolf Vogel, son of a Jewish mother,
to Jerusalem. There he spoke with Prime Minister Ben Gurion and
handed him his Book "Israel, State of Hope".
Vogel introduced himself to Werner Pfromm, the Bonn Public
Prosecutor, as a "first degree half-breed" (Mischling ersten
Grades). Pfromm had once served as a high Nazi officer, and had
come once again to high honours as a lawyer in the services of
the Federal Government. It was precisely to him that Fritz Bauer
would need to hand over his case against Globke.
The journalist Rolf Vogel about his talks with Ben-Gurion:
"The conversation turned to the press attacks against Secretary
of State Globke. Ben Gurion took pains to assure that he had
knowledge that Eichmann had expressed to his defence counsel:
"Globke, who is that? I have never heard the name. I do not know
him". Ben Gurion repeated this several times. He explained that
Eichmann's statement was reported by the soldiers who had been
present at the initial hearings with his counsel. The sympathies of
the Prime Minister and his entourage regarding the attacks in the
press (are) entirely on the side of Globke."
One should not, however, according to Vogel, exploit the words of
the soldier for public purposes.
"I rather have the feeling they are counting on Servatius (the
defence lawyer) to bring the final clarification on this point."
This is what happened. Eichmann's defence counsel wrote to the
prosecutor without being asked:
"My client has authorized me to declare that Globke is unknown
to him, and that he cannot recall having spoken to him at any
time. On the question of the Merten incident, he cannot remember
concerning the action to rescue Jews from Salonika."
Ben Gurion had fulfilled his part of the bargain. He had prevented
an International Tribunal and had shut his prisoner down. In court,
Eichmann claimed he did not know Globke, and was silent about
all other critical events during and after the war. Neither did the
details of the Sassen interviews ever surface. Parts were sold to
the press, and CIA Director Allen Dulles personally ensured that
Globke's the name did not appear in them.
It was only during the Revision process when Eichmann was
already under sentence of death, that he raised the question of
The judge refused, on procedural grounds, to issue Hans Globke
with a summons. Nothing now stood in the way for the payment
for the Israeli nuclear program, noted the Foreign Secretary on 25
"Payments are to follow only after the end of the Eichmann trial,
this being understood to mean the completion of the whole trial
process, not just the actual verdict. The Eichmann Trial is due to
be fully complete on the 14th of this month. A week later
Secretary of State Globke will thus confirm that the conditions for
the loan commitment have been fulfilled." (see this document on
Overall, the state-owned Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (the KfW)
paid out 630 Million DM.
KfW confirmed this payment, but claimed they no longer had a
single document in their possession. When I asked whether
interest was levied on this "loan" and whether it had been repaid,
"As a Federal Bank, the KfW winds down its order book of
projects such as those of "Action Business Friend" (Aktion
Geschäftsfreund) that you requested. (We respectfully ask) for
your understanding that we cannot speak about such transactions
Details on the German-Israeli "Action Business Friend" are to be
found at the Foreign Office. On the 31st of October 1961 the KfW
sent them the draft Loan Agreement with the "Industrial
Development Bank of Israel". In the interim, Eichmann had denied
any mention of Globke before the court. The first instalment of 85
Million D-mark was to be used for "infrastructure projects and
industrial development". The interest rate of between four and
five-and-a-half percent was to be repaid over eight years.
The original agreement was for a "credit on a commercial basis,"
but, in the following exchange of letters, this had morphed into
"government assistance". "The term 'commercial basis'," as per
the letters, was only "chosen for camouflage purposes." The word
"extortion" is not mentioned by the Foreign Office. However, the
"Action Business Friend" had nothing in common with an ordinary
treaty between two governments.
"No clear documentation exists on the discussions between
Chancellor Adenauer and Ben Gurion. Although the partners did
indeed acknowledge the content of discussion in letters, and how
they had understood it, confirmation from the German side is not
available. The letter of the foreign party is reported to be in the
hands of Herr Abs. The legal position gives rise to a number of
doubts. Under Constitutional Law the German Chancellor may not
be in a position to enter into ten-year financial commitments
without Cabinet [approval], and in particular without [the approval
of] the Finance Minister and of Parliament. I also do not believe
that the Chancellor had understood the discussion in this manner.
Furthermore, there is no mutually accepted representation of the
content of these discussions."
The U.S. government was against re-armament in the Middle
East in the fifties, and to the spread of nuclear weapons. As early
as July '63 President John F. Kennedy had, in writing, called on
the Israeli Prime Minister to have the Dimona complex in the
Negev inspected. Five months previously, in February '63, the
Argentine government had decided to supply 100 tons of uranium
to Israel. Karl Carstens of the Bonn Foreign Office noted in
"The Secretary of State (...) was able to tell me in strict
confidence that, by an absolutely reliable method, President
Kennedy has learned of the measures taken by us. The
information had been deliberately limited to his person. From the
intimations of the State Secretary, I understand that the Israelis
have adopted the information."
What Kennedy thought of the German financing of Dimona is not
known. In November '63 he was shot, and the next U.S.
presidents did not officially raise any further objections to the
Israeli atom bomb. It is also not known what might have motivated
Ben-Gurion to have turned Eichmann over to the Israeli trial judge
without first informing his responsible German negotiating partner
in atomic matters? Did the U.S. government put pressure on Ben
Gurion, or promise him something "persuasive"? In any case the
CIA knew, even before the Mossad, where Eichmann was be
A CIA document states:
"The principal security branch involved in the capture was Shin
Bet (Internal Secret). (It) took Eichmann into custody in mid-May.
It was not until Eichmann was on route to Israel on an airplane
between Buenos Aires and Dakar that Rosen (The Israeli
Attorney General) was informed of the Shin Bet had stated that a
“deal had been effected between the Government of Israel and
Eichmann, the [latter being tired of hiding] and the former
[needing] something to [offset] the serious [blow] to its prestige at
home and abroad occasioned by the sale of arms to Federal
Republic of Germany. However, according to Belchenko, the
"capture" would also result in an increased budget for the security
The CIA puts the word "capture" in quotation marks ...
But what interest had the U.S. government in Eichmann's
capture? Where did he get in their way? Quote of the BND:
"Eichmann had contacts with Soviet intelligence and was to be
transferred at the same moment as Khrushchev was proposing
that the SBZ (Soviet Occupation Zone = GDR) should abandon all
co-operation with former National Socialist members. Eichmann
has prepared a comprehensive roster of former Nazis currently in
the service of Pankow, including 220 members of the East Zone
KP (Communist Party), most importantly Trade Minister Merkel,
Minister of Agriculture Reichelt, President of the Supreme Court
of the GDR Schumann, and General Müller."
The note is dated 4 June 1960, shortly after Eichmann's arrest.
The source is given as Intelligent Agent 5473, who refers this to
".. to be transferred at the same moment ... .. "The words 'same
moment' refer to the Paris Summit in May 1960. But what the
Soviets had meant by the word "transfer," (Überführung) and what
exactly their plans for Eichmann were, are not known to this day.
Did the "transfer" have anything to do with those Russian nuclearpowered
submarines that had been spotted in early February
1960 off the coast of Patagonia? For nine days they were bombed
by the Argentine Navy. But of its eight cluster bombs half did not
ignite, and the U-boats escaped. The U.S. Navy, which was called
in to help after a week, arrived too late. The Argentines were the
"laughing stock of all navies of the world," according to a
'Memorandum for Major Eisenhower'.
In 1960, the division of Germany was not yet sealed. The Berlin
Wall was only built in the following year. SED General Secretary
Walter Ulbricht had proposed all-German elections to Chancellor
Adenauer in January 1960. There were two conditions: all of
Germany was to be neutral, meaning no other military alliances.
And this new state should be "de-nazified. This meant for Bonn,
Hans Globke, Refugee Minister Theodor Oberlaender, and
Transport Minister Hans-Christoph Seebohm. In East Berlin this
meant the "220 members of the East Zone Communist Party.
O-Ton: "Pero la propuesta de la neutralidad ......
The German neutrality proposal made sense; it originated with
Stalin. Germany had been responsible for the Second World War.
Isidoro Gilbert joined the Argentine Communist Party in 1948. He
had been a correspondent for the Soviet news agency TASS for
And the Soviet Union well knew that they could not support the
GDR as economically as the Western powers could the Federal
Republic with the Marshall Plan. In the long run the GDR would
not be able to compete against West Germany, and the economic
Development of the two German states would run very differently.
But making Germany neutral meant to take away the United
States' closest ally in Europe.
At the Paris Summit on 16th May, 1960, Khrushchev planned to
propose a halt to all nuclear tests, to withdraw foreign forces from
Central Europe, and to establish a nuclear-free zone, according to
German Foreign Office files. NATO and the Warsaw Pact would
sign a non-aggression pact. In case of refusal of his proposal,
Khrushchev threatened to conclude a "Special Peace Treaty" with
This meeting had been in preparation for months. And of course,
the U.S. government knew about
the Soviet proposal of a unified neutral Germany, with Berlin as a
Eisenhower would not or could not let that happen. He feared an
extension of Soviet influence in Europe and wished to establish a
nuclear weapons base closer to the Soviet border. He needed the
Federal Republic as a bulwark for the Cold War. Furthermore,
they shared a common anti-communist ideology. The U.S.
President therefore was not bothered about people like Globke
with a Nazi past.
The fact that these people could remain in Adenauer's cabinet
was a clear indication that he had no interest in the proposals of
the Kremlin—denazification in a united, neutral Germany.
For the Germans the reunification offer must have looked
tempting. And the congregation of Nazi comrades in Argentina
were in favour of this idea, and criticized the Bonn government as
"traitors" and "slaves of the USA".
The State Department needed a West Germany which, without a
peace treaty, was not sovereign and could be given orders.
Quote from a memorandum from the Chief of the U.S. Atomic
Energy Commission John McCone to
a ministerial meeting with Britain, France and the Federal
"It is the opinion of The Department of State that West Germany
has concluded that, for political reasons, they would not wish to
press for Germany´s re-unification".
But how could U.S. President Eisenhower publicly reject
reunification? Blame for the permanent division of Germany had
to be born by Moscow alone. There could also be no official
objection to Khrushchev's proposal about removing Nazis from all
government offices. Friendly winds were blowing from the East.
Eisenhower had to come up with something to scuttle the Summit.
The official history puts the reason for the failure of the Paris
Summit of May 1960 on the so-called U-2 affair.
On 1 May 1960 a spy plane was shot down over Soviet territory.
The CIA ran into severe criticism. Could not the U2 have been
despatched after the Meetings, it was asked? Or did the CIA
intend to deliberately provoke the Kremlin?
A secret report by Sherman Kent, CIA liaison officer to the
Summit, shows that the U2 affair was not the real reason for the
failure. The diplomacy of the two Great Powers in the days
following the shooting clarifies the situation:
"On 5 May Khrushchev opened the first session of a meeting of
the Supreme Soviet. In his remarks he let go at the U-2 intrusion,
calling it a direct provocation, and threatening retaliation.
However, at the end of his speech he tempered the blast referring
to his commitment to the Leninist principle of peaceful
coexistence and to his intention to spare no effort at the Paris
meeting to reach agreement. Again, on 7 May on two occasions,
one in his remarks to the adjourning Supreme Soviet and the
other at an impromptu press conference, he came down hard on
the "espionage" aspects of the flight and the Soviet government's
sense of outrage, but said nothing to indicate that the USSR was
not going through with the meeting in Paris. A few days later, 10
May, our government received the Soviet official protest which
was couched without reference to the Summit. On 11 May at an
exhibit of the wreckage of the U-2 aircraft in Moscow, Khrushchev
again spoke with some violence, but noted only his government's
intention to take the issue before the UN Security Council and, in
the event of US obstruction, to the General Assembly. Nothing
was said of Paris. The next day Tass glossed these remarks in
such a way as to assure that the Soviet government felt that the
Summit conference should take place as planned."
In the Cabinet meeting after his return from Paris, Eisenhower
"It seems clear that the U2 incident was not the cause of the great
switch since Mr. Khrushchev himself has spoken of knowing for
so long about these U2 flights."
Khrushchev unexpectedly arrived in Paris two days before the
start of the conference.
On 15 May, the day before the summit, he met privately with De
Gaulle. What the two discussed is not known. But on the following
day Khrushchev left under protest, even though the meeting was
to last five days. At this time, Adolf Eichmann had already
"vanished" for five days. In the night of May 15 U.S. forces let the
sirens howl throughout the country. This was a threat, complained
Khrushchev in a letter to US Democratic Party senators.
McCone, head of the Atomic Energy Commission and hard-liner
in Eisenhower's cabinet, was against all of Khrushchev's
proposals, not only against a unified and neutral Germany. He
was particularly against the suspension of nuclear tests and
disarmament. This would have threatened the technological
superiority of the United States. McCone was concerned about
the "industrial-military complex" - the state and private research
centers and weapons manufactures: first and foremost: the
Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, a leader in the development of
nuclear warheads. In his internal memo written on 17 May 1960 in
Paris - as the summit had just failed:
"Under Secretary Merchant and Ambassador Bohlen commented
to the effect that despite the climate of the Summit we would
continue the disarmament and test suspension negotiation at
Geneva. I stated that under no circumstances should we reach
the conclusion that we would continue these negotiations (...) I felt
that the American public press, the Congress and some segments
of the executive branch of the Government did not support
continuing of test suspension with the inhibiting effect on weapons
development. Messrs. Merchant and Bohlen (…) were working
under a plan to cause Khrushchev, and not the President, to
break off the Summit negotiations." John McCone.
If the summit had not collapsed due to the U2 affair - then what
happened between the 11th and 15th May to nullify all chances of
a Great Powers agreement? Khrushchev had still been full of
optimism on the 11th May, as stated in the internal CIA
memorandum, and on the 15th May he angrily left Paris after a
meeting with De Gaulle, and did not participate in the opening of
the Summit. Eichmann was caught and in custody throughout this
period. The parties involved are silent about what exactly took
place between the arrest on the 11th and the arrival in Israel on
the 22nd May—why he only appeared at his destination 11 days
later, and after the conclusion of the Paris talks. What did de
Gaulle tell Khrushchev about the kidnapping of Eichmann? Did
the Soviet leader reckon that a deal between Eichmann and the
KGB would be made public? Had his premature arrest foiled his
own plan to "transfer" the administrative organizer of mass
murder—and to use him as a bargaining chip in the German
Many documents are obviously still secret—such as the letter of
CIA Chef Dulles to Eisenhower's National Security Advisor
Gordon Gray dated May 11th, 1960, the day of Eichmann's
disappearance. The letter consists of two pages, is marked "Top
Secret," and is in a folder titled "Eyes Only". I have requested it´s
The State Department sent back my application for the release of
this information with the note "return to sender," and again
rejected my visa application without explanatory statement. I sent
a questionnaire to the CIA and requested the release of several
documents. The answer is still pending. I have asked the Atomic
Energy Commission and the Defence Ministry in Buenos Aires for
information regarding the mission of Mr. Herbert York who was
sent to Argentina on 15th of May, 1960. York had already worked
on the development of the atomic bomb during the Second World
War. He was the first director of the Lawrence Livermore
Laboratories, and in 1960 director of DASA, the Defence Atomic
Support Agency. Three days before his departure he had
presented a list of the latest weapons systems to President
Eisenhower in Cabinet. A nuclear test ban would have prevented
this development. Herbert York landed in Buenos Aires on the
same day that Eisenhower went to the Summit on disarmament in
Paris. York was accompanied by physicists and Marines. Shortly
before, and "accidentally" on the day of Eichmann's abduction,
seven U.S. aircraft, three U-2 spy planes, and four bomb carriers
of the type P-57, landed in Buenos Aires. And a day later, the
nuclear-capable strategic bombers with air refuelling of the type
KB-50 also arrived. They all remained for two days at Ezeizaairport,
and then flew together to an unknown destination. They
wished to undertake test experiments, "pruebas" — as stated in
the report of Argentine Military Intelligence, which I have received.
I have asked the Defence Department in Washington [for
clarification on] what these "test trials" of the U.S. Atomic Agency
consisted of. I am still waiting for a response.
Is, in the final analysis, this "heroic kidnapping of Eichmann by the
Mossad "just a red herring?
But why raise uncomfortable questions. Have they not everyone
gotten what they wanted?
The USA continued their nuclear weapons tests, and stationed
their missiles on West German soil. McCone became CIA chief.
They granted the Argentines a loan of 7.6 million dollars for its
steel and chemical industries. Ben Gurion received from Bonn
630 million D-mark for its nuclear reactor, and on the same day
on which the arrest of Eichmann was announced, the long
awaited promise from Washington's about ...
“… electronic equipment, Hawk missiles, and various items "...
... as indicated in the letter of thanks to the State Department. And
something must also have been enough for the Russians to keep
their silence. All parties hold tight.
The Abduction Legend or how Eichmann came to Jerusalem? A
feature by Gaby Weber
You heard a co-production of Deutschlandfunk and with the
Speakers were: Ursula Illert, Hüseyin Michael Cirpici, Michael and
Hendrik Stickan Witte
Sound and technology: Michael Moran and Hanna Steger
Directed and edited by: Karin Beindorff